One of the unmistakable characteristics of our contemporary age, obesity has become a worldwide phenomenon, one that threatens to leave a strong negative imprint on our overall health and quality of life.
It makes sense then that there would be considerable attention placed on the various weight loss strategies that promise to eradicate this issue once and for all. However, the human body is a delicate ecosystem, and going about changing it with an aggressive mindset rarely gets things done in a healthy and lasting manner. Instead, the correct approach requires time, patience and dedication, and should encompass all the following tips and principles:
1. Avoiding Fad Diets
Every year certain diets rise to prominence and are highly touted by various magazines and websites as being the ultimate solutions for weight loss. Oftentimes these diets promise quick results with no strings attached, and can be quite tempting when you're in a bind.
Keep in mind, however, that some diet fads can be dangerous due to the exclusion of valuable nutrients from your meals, and they may also induce unwanted metabolic changes that can have long-lasting effects on your body. Overall, unless it's a physician-recommended diet, you're better off simply sticking to traditional weight loss strategies.
2. Introducing Changes Gradually
It is estimated that the human mind needs several weeks to form a new habit, which is why rapidly implementing various changes into your diet and lifestyle is a strategy that's doomed to fail in most cases.
For example, plenty of people who are used to eating meat five times a week try jumping into veganism on a whim, only to give it up after three days of stomach-growling discomfort. Instead, why not try to take things gradually? Simply switching from white bread to whole grain or from full-fat milk to skimmed can make a real difference down the road, and it's these kinds of tiny steps that will be much easier for your mind to accept without fighting back.
3. Mastering Portion Control
Not knowing how much to eat at each meal is a source of frustration for many people, as it can be hard to gauge just how many calories are on any given plate of food.
Luckily, a handy hack developed by researchers from the University of Sydney appears to have solved this problem. By simply using your finger as a ruler, you can measure the amount of food on your plate within 25% of its actual weight. While by no means exact, this can allow regular people the option of cutting down on oversized meals and settling for smaller portions instead.
4. Increasing Activity Levels
Even if you find it hard to decrease your calorie intake or make drastic changes to your diet, by simply maintaining things the way they are and introducing exercise into the equation, you're likely to see some great results. That's because exercise burns calories and fat at an exponential rate, and can also tone your muscles and improve your mental fortitude as well.
This works even if you don't have a lot of time at your disposal or if you happen to hate workout gyms. Make a list of physical activities that you genuinely enjoy, anything from running to swimming to cycling, and try to practice them on most days of the week.
5. Maintaining Motivation
The secret to making a long-lasting change in your lifestyle and eating habits lies in managing expectations and harnessing motivation even when things appear to be stuck in a rut. In most cases, visible changes only come into view after several weeks, and there are plenty of points when giving up will seem like the more sensible option.
Nevertheless, it's essential to keep pushing on, even if that means allowing yourself the occasional unhealthy snack or skipped gym class. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that your body will likely need some time and attention to get through bumpy patches.
As you can see, there are certain steps that you can take if you want to lose weight in a healthy and efficient way. Of course, making sure the weight you've already lost stays off also requires a certain level of vigilance to prevent bad habits from slipping back into the fold.
That being said, kindness and tolerance towards your physique are essential aspects of any successful weight-loss program, as true long-lasting change can only be borne out of a deep and abiding love for one's own body.